New Limo Safety Measures Shelved by State Lawmakers

(Albany, NY) — Legislation that would put new limo safety measures in place will have to wait until at least next year. Both the Senate and Assembly passed measures this week, but the differences between what each chamber approved must be hammered out before anything can be sent to Governor Cuomo. Limo safety has been a big topic at the Capitol this year following the October tragedy in Schoharie that left 20 people dead.

State Lawmakers Strike a Deal on Pot Possession Penalities

(ALBANY, NY) – State lawmakers have reportedly struck a deal that will lower the penalties for possessing small amounts of marijuana. The legislation calls for public possession of less than two ounces of marijuana to no longer be a misdemeanor. Governor Cuomo said decriminalizing marijuana is a victory he’s been trying to achieve since 2013.

Third Thursday ArtWalks Starts Tonight

(SARANAC LAKE, NY) – The Saranac Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, teams up with Saranac Lake ArtWorks to welcome back the Third Thursday Art Walks, The 21st annual season kicks off today from 5 to 7:30 p.m. 60 artists and businesses participate. The Art Walks run from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on June 20, July 18, Aug. 15 and Sept. 19.

Push to Legalize Recreational Weed Fizzles in Albany

(Albany, NY) — A push to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes has come up short at the Capitol. Democrats scrambled to gather enough support for the legislation, but weren’t able to secure the necessary votes. Members of the Senate, Assembly and Governor Cuomo had been trying to hammer out an agreement for months. But, issues like allowing communities to opt out of the potential law and debate over how to use the tax money generated from pot sales were too much to overcome.

State Lawmakers Take Action on Two Bills With Local Impact

(TUPPER LAKE, NY) – State lawmakers take action on two bills with local impact. One bill gives Essex County the authority to raise its occupancy tax and another that authorizes the county to contract with towns and fire districts to provide emergency medical services, both passed the state Legislature Wednesday, the last day of this year’s legislative session. The occupancy tax bill authorizes the county Board of Supervisors to increase the so-called “bed tax” from 3 to 5%.

Cost to Build the New Mount Van Hoevenberg Ski Center Higher Than Expected

(SARANAC LAKE, NY ) It’s going over budget. Site work and preparations for the construction of a new base lodge at Mount Van Hoevenberg are on track and on schedule. There are reports that the is going to $10-20 million more than originally thought. There are also questions and concerns about the appearance of the building. One local leader says the building looks like a Holiday Inn.

Today is the Last Day of the 2019 Legislative Session

(Albany, NY) — Lawmakers will be back at work in Albany today for the final scheduled day of this year’s legislative session. One major issue that’s still unresolved is recreational marijuana legalization. Democrats, who have the majority in the Senate and Assembly, are working hard to strike a last-minute deal. Negotiations between lawmakers and the governor in recent days have focused on allowing communities to opt out of the potential law and debate over how to use the tax money generated from pot sales. Governor Cuomo has said he’ll sign a bill if it gets to his desk.

NCCC’s New President is Now on the Job

(TUPPER LAKE, NY) – Monday was Joe Keegan’s first day on the job as North Country Community College’s new president. Keegan says one of his goals while serving in the post is to reach out and attract demographics that might be new or not as focused upon in order to increase enrollment numbers.

Cuomo Signs Illegal Immigrant Driver’s License Bill

Albany, NY) — A bill allowing illegal immigrants to receive New York driver’s licenses has been signed by Governor Cuomo. The measure cleared its final hurdle in the Legislature last night when the state Senate approved it by a final vote of 33 to 29. Supporters say the measure, known as the “Green Light Bill”, will increase driving safety, allow illegal immigrants to get to work and medical appointments and also create revenue for the state. Illegal immigrants will now be able to apply for licenses in 180 days.

Local Leaders Debate Short Term Rental Regs

(TUPPER LAKE, NY) – Town leaders in North Elba and Lake Placid Village still trying to figure out how to regulate short-term vacation rentals. The discussion centers on whether owner-occupied vs. non-owner-occupied rentals should be treated differently. Those who live on the premises would have the fees waived. Those who would rent out their property for less than 14 days a year would not have to file for a permit but would still have to be up to code, like any other person renting out a home. The town and village attorney will work on drafting new legislation in the next two weeks. Then a public hearing will be held.